The Middle Pillar and the Western Mystery Tradition
The Western Mystery Tradition, the occult lineage of the west, is rooted in Hermetic Qabalah. This is a spiritual path to develop self-knowledge and unite with one’s inner divinity, thus with all that is divine. Hermetic Qabalah is a philosophical expression uniting many magical traditions and teachings including Jewish Mysticism, ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian religion and magic, Alchemy, Astrology, Angelic Invocation and the Tarot. A glyph known as the Tree of Life is used as a meditative symbol and key to understanding the Qabalah and the other Hermetic Arts. The word “Hermetic” comes from the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, an Egyptian priest and alchemist whose mythology became entwined with that of the Egyptian God Thoth – patron deity of magic and science, Greek God Hermes and the Roman Mercury – messenger of the Gods. Trismegistus is attributed with writing the Emerald Tablet, from which we receive the Hermetic Axiom “As Above, So Below.” In other words, what is true on the largest scale is true on the most minute, and as the natural laws work in the higher realms, so do they work in the lower. To understand an unknown, we can look for its expression from a broader or more focused perspective to find the relationships that lead us to our answer.
The Tree of Life can be overlaid over any system, whether a grouping of atoms or the orbiting planets around our sun, and we can use it to see relationships of the working parts. In the Middle Pillar ritual, we project the Tree over our own bodies, placing the top of the tree at our Crown Chakra, and the base below our feet. The center of the tree which is the macrocosmic Sun of our solar system, becomes the microcosmic Solar Plexus in our body. The middle pillar is the center line of the Tree, and runs vertically just like the energy channel through our spinal column. During this ritual, a guided meditation is used to bring white light in through the crown and down to the feet, pausing at certain points along the way and activating them through the use of sound and divine names.
The Middle Pillar ritual was practiced by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a secret magical society which began in Victorian era England and whose reach spread to America in the early 1900’s. The GD was responsible for the occult revival and translated many renaissance and earlier texts for the first time into English, bringing magical techniques and ritual into the modern era.
Israel Regardie was an author who published many of the secret Golden Dawn rituals including the Middle Pillar. Later, he published “The True Art of Healing” in which he outlined a method of using the meditation method to facilitate the healing of another person.
Many of the well-known occult authors or teachers of the last century found their footing in the Golden Dawn and its offshoot orders. Dion Fortune, Paul Foster Case, A.E. Waite, and Aleister Crowley all went on to found their own orders after the dissolution of the GD. It is through these orders that the Western Mystery Tradition has been kept alive, passed on from initiate to initiate, and through which my teachers have passed it on to me. Once a month I lead a group Middle Pillar Ritual at the House of Intuition in Echo Park. I have also built a one-one-one healing around the core Middle Pillar work and with the addition of crystal healing, reiki, energy clearing, and breathwork, provide a personal experience for people to heal, release, charge and repair emotionally, mentally and physically.
The 22 Teachings school at the House of Intuition is designed to instruct students in the Hermetic Arts and Sciences including tarot, ritual, and magical theory and practice. Please follow 22 Teachings here:
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For additional information on Hermetic Qabalah, the Golden Dawn, and the Middle Pillar, I recommend the books Garden of Pomegranates and The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie, The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune, The Kybalion by Three Initiates, and Rebels and Priestesses, Women of the Golden Dawn by Mary Greer.